Two people have been arrested and a third is charged for dumping debris on state land under a New Jersey crackdown on illegal dumping, NBC 4 New York has learned.
Authorities say one man dumped construction debris and a mattress next to the Leonardo State Marina on Raritan Bay in Middletown, yards from a beach where horseshoe crabs were laying eggs.
State Park Police Detective Timothy Kasony told NBC 4 New York that when authorities went to arrest the 44-year-old suspect, who lives just a few blocks away, he asked if he could take it back.
"That was his first reaction, 'Hey can I go back, clean it up?' We told him it was too late," Kasony said.
Now, he faces a $75,000 fine.
A stakeout by police around the same time ended with the arrest of a 33-year-old man, also of Leonardo, after police say he drove onto the beach with a pickup load of debris they say he wanted to dump there.
Nearby, they found a WaveRunner abandoned in the marsh. Police say an arrest warrant is out for the 41-year-old man who owns it.
All of this comes from a crackdown called "Don't Waste Our Open Space" that the state began in late March.
There have been at least 10 arrests or enforcement actions statewide that officials attribute to the program. Members of the public can report illegal dumping at stopdumping.nj.gov.